Book Review: ‘Educational Planning of Court-Involved Youth: A Guide for Counties, Systems, and Individuals’ |

Book Review: ‘Educational Planning of Court-Involved Youth: A Guide for Counties, Systems, and Individuals’

Local author Amy M. Bishop, MSW, pours years of research and careful detail into her new book, “Educational Planning of Court-Involved Youth: A Guide for Counties, Systems, and Individuals.” Noting how the system has failed children and teenagers in her own community and is an ongoing and far-reaching issue, Bishop builds up a framework for any person, organization, government or system that is involved in or close to social work.

Broken down into three “phases” — county, system and individual interventions — Bishop lays out current procedures in place for the intake of youth into the welfare system, the steps practiced for enrolling them into schools, how they are treated in those schools, real-life examples and results of those procedures, various types of youth that may be involved in the welfare system and fixes to the guidelines in use, such as how to create an “action team” to create a stable groundwork of new policies and making sure a person or an agency is implementing them in their cases.

Bishop pays special attention to the “considerable” needs of each individual child or teen that may be in the welfare system, which can be the largest roadblock for meeting the educational needs of such youth. A person in the system may be there for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, abuse, neglect, homelessness or because they are already in the juvenile justice system. A cross-disciplinary approach is touted in the book as an effective means of getting educators to set their children up for success as opposed to giving up or using unsuccessful tactics that drive them away or increase the risk of them entering the juvenile justice system later on.

These new guidelines can be a major asset in any social work toolbox as a way of uprooting existing practices or tweaking ones that may not be in the best shape or producing desired results. And In the case of any agency or system that has not historically been in the business of producing good results, can kickstart them into meeting the needs of their youth and building them up in the way that they all deserve.

“Bishop received her Master of Social Work from the University of Denver. She has worked in educational advocacy and consulting for over 10 years. She works as an education consultant for families, youth, schools and agencies in improving educational outcomes and conducts trainings and workshops nationwide on the educational needs of court-involved and at-risk youth.”

“Educational Planning for Court-Involved Youth” can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and various educational book retailers. More information on the book and subject can be found at

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